Imagine an evening at a Disney park with low crowds, super short wait times, no unbearable heat from the sun bearing down on you, and all you can eat ice cream. If this sounds like your dream come true, you might want to try Disney After Hours!
What is it?
Disney After Hours is a separate, hard-ticketed event that allows guests to experience EXTREMELY low crowd levels. I was there on Valentine’s Day, and the event was sold out. Through top secret cast member information, I was able to find out that the sold out number of attendees was 3,200. The park was EMPTY.
This special event is available on select dates at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. This event does NOT require separate theme park admission for that day and you can purchase the tickets through your travel agent.
What is included?
Besides theme park entry, you also get unlimited snacks! The snacks available were boxes of popcorn, any bottled drink served at a drink cart, and any ice cream product available at a Disney cart. If you were hungry for a meal, you could also purchase snacks and beverages at Casey’s Corner and the Main Street Bakery.
Each park has a list of attractions that are available. Pretty much every big ticket ride and a number of other rides and character experiences, as well. There were also PhotoPass photographers available with fun picture opportunities throughout the evening.
Is it worth it?
YES! On every level, yes. It is SO worth it! We did not start counting attractions we did until 9pm when the event began, and we hit 13 attractions and took 3 ice cream breaks. At the beginning of the evening, some of the more popular attraction lines were still long, so we started with some of the shorter lines. We showed our wrist bands as we entered the line and most of the line times were 5 minutes. The exceptions were 7 Dwarfs, Peter Pan, and Astro Orbiter – those were as high as 25 minutes (which is about 60-100 minutes shorter than they were that day). By the end of the evening, even those rides only had about a 10 minute wait.
To give you a frame of reference, we spent that day at Epcot and accomplished 7 attractions in 7 hours there. So I felt like 13 in 3 hours was fantastic!
Since the event takes place “after hours,” the sun has gone down, and it is NOT oppressively hot any longer. And since the ticketed event admission is so limited, we were never in crowds and waited in almost NO lines. I don’t mind crowds, but my husband can’t stand them, so this is a fantastic way to work around that!
When is it?
For Magic Kingdom, this special event takes place on select Monday and Thursday evenings. The event officially begins when the park closes (either 9pm or 10pm depending on the date), but your ticket will allow you to enter the park as early as 7pm.
For Hollywood Studios, this event is available on select Saturdays. If you have tickets for this event you can enter Hollywood Studios at 7pm and the ticketed event goes from 8:30pm to 11:30 pm or 9pm to midnight depending on the specific date.
For Animal Kingdom, this event is offered on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Guests with Disney After Hours tickets can enter the park at 7:00 PM every event night. The event takes place from 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM or 9pm to midnight depending on the date.
I highly recommend you consider this special ticketed event. It was worth every penny and I loved the uncrowded, almost-no-wait Disney experience. And I would say that the all-you-can-eat ice cream added another layer of fun to the evening! If you find this event is available during your trip, I recommend you call your Wishdrawals Travel Agent and book it as soon as possible!
Emily Lamb has been to Disney over 65 times, usually for multiple days on each trip. Now she also has several Disney cruises under her belt, and she\’s always planning the next Disney World trip! The tips she sharing are from first-hand experience as a kid and now as a mother of her own beautiful children. Contact Emily to help plan your next Disney trip!